Dear Library Member,
Looking over the past two years that the library was in operation. I am again overwhelmed by the goodness of God. When we opened the library nearly two years ago it was my prayer that God would somehow bless the work. Most of all, my prayer was, and still is, that people’s hearts and lives would be touched and changed by the power of God. What really matters in life, is all about Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation, and the finished work on the cross.
The teachings of Jesus Christ have shaped human history, some of the commands of Christ have become so ingrained in our society that they have become figures of speech: Do unto others, turn the other cheek, and go the extra mile. Are all citations from the commands that Christ gave.
Today the word Christian is loosely applied to buildings, businesses, certain ethnic races, a set of moral guidelines, and even a certain type of music. Yet this use of the word is often without any reference to what its founder taught. It should be beneficial to discover exactly what Jesus Christ taught and how this understanding can shape our lives.
Jesus says in Matthew 10:38 “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”
He also says in Matthew 7:21 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
You cannot be born a Christian. You cannot simply call yourself a Christian. You don’t become a Christian because you attend church or wear a cross. A Christian is one who follows Jesus Christ.
As human beings, we are shaped by what we believe. Even our very destiny at the end of life, will ultimately be determined by whither or not we believe on Jesus Christ as our savior and repent of our sins.
This may all seem a little radical to you, but the fact is, that most people in the world never actually come to know the real truth. It is like Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter “ye” (meaning you) in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
It is not God’s will or wish, that any of the people that he has created should perish in Hell, but that everyone would come to the saving power of Jesus Christ. You may not exactly understand how this works. But if you would ever chose to make the right decision, to truly believe on Jesus, repent of your sins, and seek to serve God. (God would then open up your understanding,) spiritually you would be a new person, and would be born again. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”
You see, the biggest problem in the world is sin. Sin has and will continue to blind people’s eyes and turn them from the truth. If there would be no sin in the world, everything would be perfect and flawless. People would not get sick or die. God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” That means that you and me have sinned. That means that everyone in the world has sinned. We have all broken God’s commandments. There is not a person in the world (Besides Jesus Christ, God’s son) who has not sinned.
The good news is, that God has made a plan of salvation through his son Jesus Christ, so that we can be won back to him.
Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. He lived on this earth about 2000 years ago. Jesus is our perfect example. He was tempted in every area, and in every point, just like we are, and yet he never committed a sin. The fact that he never sinned is also why he qualified to be the perfect sacrifice for sin. Sin grieves the heart of God. In fact, he cannot tolerate it! It grieves God so much that it took the death of his one and only son, Jesus Christ, upon the cross. It took Jesus own blood to pay the price for us to be won back to God. Hebrews 9:22 says “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood is no remission.” You can read about the crucifixion of Christ toward the end of all four gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Thankfully Jesus did not stay in the grave, he arose again on the 3rd day. Right now he is on the right hand of God interceding on behalf of those who love and trust in him.
You see, as humans, we are born in sin. The Bible says in Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man (meaning Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Ever since the first man and woman, (Adam and Eve) decided to take of that forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. People have been born in sin. We all have a sinful nature within us. For example, when a baby is born, at first he or she may seem fairly perfect and innocent, and rightfully so. But just wait a few years. Who has to teach a child to become angry, to curse, lie, cheat, steal, and all these other sinful things? I would say no one. These things come naturally because of our sinful nature that we are born with.
We are all born into this world, and it is certain we will also die at some point or another. It is God who gives life, and it is God who says when life will end. For some people death may come early in life. We never know when our last day may be. At the end of life God has prepared a great judgment day. Once this life is over we will all be judged for the way that we have lived our lives and the decisions and choices that we have made. 2 Corinthians 5:10 says “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
Years ago, I made the choice to get right with God and repent of my sins. That was the best decision that I have ever made. There is so much freedom in choosing to serve Jesus Christ, so much peace, so much love. It is exactly as it says in John chapter 3, you actually experience a spiritual new birth, and you are a new person in Jesus Christ. The old sinful life is put away, and a new life in Jesus has come!
Colossians 1:12-13 says,
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son:Colossians 1:12-13
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
If we truly repent of our sins and believe on Christ it is as it says in Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.”
Romans 5:10-11 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Jesus said in Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
Matthew 4:17 “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
If you feel the Holy Spirit convicting you, and you have never made a sincere commitment, I plead with you to make the decision to follow Jesus Christ today. 2 Corinthians 6:2 “For he saith, (meaning God) I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
Jesus is a perfect gentleman, he will not force you to serve him, but if you feel him knocking on your hearts door, I would encourage you to respond. Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me.”
If you truly want to serve God, and be a real Christian. Then get down on your knees right now. Pray to God, praying to God is just like talking to a good friend. You can tell Jesus, in your own words, how sorry you are for your sins. Ask Jesus to come into your heart, to forgive you of your sins, and save you, and make you into a new person, in Jesus Christ. Tell him that you believe that he died on the cross for your sins. Tell him that you believe that he has the power to save you from sin and hell. Pray that he would open up your heart and mind so that you can understand the scriptures and his plan for your life. You will never regret that you did!
It seems sometimes that life can bring a lot of changes, sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming when a lot of changes happen all at one time! That is a little the way I felt this past year when God called me to a term of service in Haiti working under Christian Aid Ministries. I had a lot of questions like: Who will take care of the Library? Who will be involved in my little brother’s life? (I was involved in a program called “Big Brother Little Brother Program” where we work with children from York City.) Who will take on all my other responsibilities?
I didn’t have to wait long to see that God would be faithful in finding people to step into the gap and take on the work! My brother John consented to take on the responsibilities of being the director while I am gone, my mom and sisters continue to be a huge asset and blessing in helping out, and we also have a cousin and some neighbors who very graciously volunteered to help out with the library responsibilities.
This year we are planning to do some serious upgrades in the Library. Since our library patronage and book selection has grown dramatically in the past two years that we have been in operation, we are finding it more and more necessary to start using a computer system and have new and better ways of sorting and handling books. Lord willing, beginning on April 15, 2017 we are planning to switch almost completely to a computerized system. No doubt it will be a complicated process to set it up and get it running properly, but once it is, we are expecting it will save hours and hours of manual labor by our library volunteers.
So what are some of the biggest changes? How will this affect you?
- Last year we have found it necessary to register Stoltzfus Christian Library with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) as an official non-profit organization. We can now give you a tax deductible receipt when you make a donation to the library.
- We now have a five man board of directors to help provide advice as well as more accountability.
- Some of our book fees and terms and conditions will be updated to follow a schedule that is very similar to that of our local Lancaster County public libraries.
- We now have a unique category code for the books. That way we know right away which shelf they belong on when they are returned.
- We will be placing a touch screen computer monitor in the library with a barcode scanning system and a receipt printer that can be used as a self-checkout.
- You will receive a new library card with your own unique barcode and number.
- All of the books will have a unique barcode on them.
- When you are ready to check out simply press start on the computer screen, scan your library card, and then each book individually. When you are finished press done and it will print a receipt with your books listed. (No more hand writing book titles.)
- On Saturday, April 15, 2017 we are planning to have our annual Library open house event. This will be your opportunity to come and see the new system firsthand. We can give you your new library cards and teach you how to use the new computerized checkout system.
Once again, I want to take this time to thank you for your support! It is greatly appreciated! Whether it was volunteering your time to help in the library, borrowing books, donating books, giving donations, or simply praying for us. Whatever it may have been, Thank you very much! May God bless you richly, without your support we could not continue to operate a Christian Library.
We know that the world is changing rapidly, many so called Christians and churches are compromising and going against the Bible and the commandments of Jesus Christ. Now is the time more than ever to stand up for what is right and be rooted and grounded on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. By God’s grace we will continue to offer books and materials that are Biblically sound. We are very concerned about what we offer in the library. That is why you cannot find books in our library that are written by many of the liberal contemporary Christian authors and philosophers of our day.
May God bless you as you continue to serve him!
For Stoltzfus Christian Library
P. S. We are again enclosing a contribution reply card and envelope for those of you who want to help with keeping the library in operation. Please place a checkmark on the appropriate box stating what you want your donation to help for, and please specify whether or not you would like to receive a tax deductible receipt. Stoltzfus Christian Library is funded by your donation. Thank you, and may God bless you!